Kelly Post-Practice: Aug. 9

Brian Kelly answered nearly 20 minutes of questions from the media following Saturday morning's open practice.

Question: Injury Update on Matt Hegarty and Ben Councell; others?

"Concussions for both of them. We're going through our (concussion) protocol. I think both have moved quickly through our protocol and are on the back end of it."

"Torii Hunter had a Grade Three, which is fairly significant, groin tear. He received his first PRP this week. He's going to have two more. (Out) Four to six weeks."

"Sam Mustipher has a mid-foot sprain, not a LisFranc. Mid-foot. Coming out of the boot this weekend. We should have him moving around pretty soon. The only concern is missed time. "

Question: Devin Butler?

"IV (Fluids)."

Question: Keivarae Russell (pulled up in practice)?

"Yeah, a (leg) tweak. We're at that point, Day Six, probably a little bit of overuse for him. We're just being cautious, obviously, as you can imagine."

Question: Mike Denbrock was back?

"Yeah, great to see him back out there. He's not going to be able to be out here for long periods of time. He's going to pick his spots. He'll be able to do maybe an hour a day. Probably for the next week or so, couple of weeks. Gradually increase his time with us. It was great to see him out there. He was yelling at the officials so I know he was starting to feel good."

Question: You've been very complimentary of Chris Brown. What are you seeing from him?

"I think it started with first, we had a great mentor in T.J. Jones. He saw the growth of TJ and kind of mirrored that. And then saw an opportunity when DaVaris (Daniels) was not with us, Chris really, by de facto became the veteran of that group. He was put in a leadership position in the spring and really kind of took off. I think the circumstances led to him emerging at that position."

"When you see some light at the top, you take hold. He was clearly this week our best receiver this week, consistently. Route-running, releases. Has to be more consistent catching the football. Clearly he was our best this week."

Question: And Daniels was inactive a bit at practice? Does he have an injury?

"He's been limited with the groin injury. So it's not fair for me to put him in there. He hasn't earned the starting position. Chris is really the starter there right now. "

Question: What do you still have to see out of Folston and Bryant between now and August 30?

"I think with Greg, mental errors and trust in his offensive line. He has a tendency to, let me give you an example: you have to be patient to let those linemen work to the second level, Greg will have a tendency to spurt out without setting up the block. Cam (McDaniel) does a great job of setting that up and hitting it. Greg has to trust his linemen. Not just let his athletic ability take over. That will work sometimes, but when you need it in those crucial situations, he's going to run into an out."

"Learning the playbook and knowing all the ins and outs, and then trusting the blocking schemes."

"Tarean, I think just, just take it over. You know? At times I'd like to see him be more than just who he is. It almost seems like you have to push him than I'd like. I'd like to see him say 'Hey, I'm going to take this position over.' He's really talented and it looks like we have to push him a bit. I want him to decide that he wants to be the starter and not share the ball with anybody."

"I think he has to decide every day that he's going to be the guy."

Question: What are your thoughts on this Power Five Conference Scheduling Issue?

"You know that we would be extremely excited if everybody would go down the same road and play the kind of schedule we do. We think that would be a level playing field. We believe there are enough people on the committee that recognize the kind of schedule we play. There's people on that committee that know Notre Dame and know the kind of schedule we play, but clearly if the five power conferences are playing the kind of schedule we're playing, I think we have a level playing field."

Question: But would that eliminate Navy (for Notre Dame)?

"It would bring into the question as to whether we can count that, and I think Navy has shown themselves to be at least a Top 30 team fairly consistently. They beat a Big 10 team last year. I don't think you can count Navy out of the conversation."

Question: How much do you hope to get into the stadium and work on the FieldTurf during camp?

"We're gonna be in there Monday. We'll have a chance to get right in there and get to work. We're still dealing with one field. It wouldn't be something where I'd go there exclusively because we do like the break up and have some more room for our individual work. Clearly, we wanna get much more familiar with our stadium and comfortable with the environment, so we'll be in there on Monday."

Question: Why was that initiative so important for you?

"Simply for competitive reasons. We felt as though the surface did not at times allow us to play as fast as we needed to. If you're working so hard to put your football team together and your surface at home is really not where it needs to be, you need to make the changes. That's why, ultimately, we made the change."

Question: Kyle Brindza, obviously he's been around a long time and kickers have highs and lows. What are your impressions of him over your time?

"I'd say he's clutch would be the first thing that comes to mind. A lot of clutch kicks. He's not afraid of the moment and somebody that's willing to really do something at this level that's very difficult to do, handle all the chores. It takes a special kid, one that's ultimately confident in his own ability."

Question: What have you seen out of Corey Robinson so far?

"His development, just understanding the game, you know? Every day is for Corey, learning more about football and he's a sponge. He's taking it in. Releases, top end of routes, how to set up a defender, not making the same release versus man twice. Mixing it up. Just learning the nuances of the position. His development in Year 2. Not just using his size, now really becoming a student of the game."

Question: You talked about the injury to Torii Hunter and DaVaris Daniels being slowed, are you worried at all about depth at receiver?

"Any time you lose two guys like that you start to have to count on other guys. Justin Brent's had to get a lot more reps and Corey Holmes, we have to accelerate the development of Corey Holmes. I think Corey is a very gifted receiver. He reminds me a lot of Will Fuller as a freshman. We have to really work to develop both those guys when we lose guys like that. We'll see. We think those guys can be good players, they're just a little young right now."

Question: Tyler Luatua, you mentioned him a week ago and just how impressive he was in the summer. Today we saw him kinda all over the field, in the backfield during some read option stuff, generally you don't play three tight ends. But he's a guy you're pretty confident will get on the field this year?

"He's gonna play. We're gonna feature some backfield sets that will allow him to really use his size. He's a load. He's close to 270 pounds and when he brings it he's a heavy load. We haven't had that kind of downhill physicality that changes the pace. We can still play fast and then play down hill. He gives us some really good flexibility. He's a fullback/h-back that gives us some versatility that we would like to have, especially blue zone coming in and black zone coming out, short yardage situations he can really help us."

Question: Where are you at in the quarterback battle?

"We're six days into it. I think that we're starting to really get the quarterbacks through the installation. I think now that we're through the installation, today was our next to last day, so I think Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday we'll then start to look at (it). We'll chart aggressively and look for separation at that position. It's hard to get that separation when you're telling them to throw a route into coverage that it's not meant for that play because you're just installing it.

"We'll get into that probably early next week and start to get a feel for, as you said, that true competition. The first five and six days, we're laying down installation and it's really hard to truly say. Look, if you're making the decision in these five days you already knew who your quarterback was really. I wanted to get the installation in and then we'll really start to focus on who they guy is this week because we'll put them in those competitive situations in 7-on-7 and in our team that will allow them to make those kind of decisions."

Question: Going into the year you were pretty happy with Cody Riggs. What have you seen that he brings to your secondary?

"He's a physical corner. He's gonna have to learn a lot because he's gonna have to play probably a couple positions for us. He fits in very well here, mature. He brings a lot of leadership and experience. Very helpful."

Question: How does he help KeiVarae sort of as somebody that's experienced?

"They obviously talk a lot about football. KeiVarae is learning football at that position and I think Cody has been very helpful in just experience and talking about reading receivers. He's been a good mentor."

Question: How far of a jump as Max Redfield made just as far as understanding the defense and trusting him out there?

"He's made a good jump. Max is an extremely, as we all know, a very gifted player. We've just gotta continue on the learning curve. We have days where you miss and assignment here and you can't miss an assignment back there. That's where some of our inexperience, we have to be vigilant in making sure that we're clean back there. But he is, as we all know, an extremely gifted player."

Question: Who in your front seven of your freshmen have impressed you at this point?

"I can tell you the guys that will help us. Jhonny Williams will help us. (Jonathan) Bonner will help us. (Daniel) Cage will help us. Let's see. Kolin Hill will help us. Those four guys have shown an ability to pass rush on third down. Now they're probably not gonna be every down players but they can come off the edge for us. Those four guys in the front seven."

Question: How about Nyles Morgan? What do you think you can get out of him?

"We're trying. It's a lot. We're bringing him along. Brian (VanGorder) and Bobby Elliott are doing a great job, it's just a lot to get there. You look at Manti Te'o in his freshman year, you guys knew, I said this watching the film, he had a long way to go after his freshman year. He was a five-star and one of the best players in the country. It's a lot. He's really, extremely athletic and a gifted player. He's got a lot of want-to. It's just gonna take some time. He's working at it."

Question: After the first week or so do you have a better sense of what you might be able to get out of Jarrett Grace?

"Not yet. Not yet because we haven't cut him loose yet. We're not at that point where he's running downhill or running sideline to sideline. It's probably another solid week-to-10 days before I can give you an honest assessment as to whether he's ready in the first, second or third week."

Question: When you moved Ronnie Stanley to left tackle in the spring, I don't know if that was a definite move or you were just trying it out, has there been any doubt since that move that that's where you wanted to situate him and he could handle that spot?

"There's been no doubt on Ronnie Stanley at any position. But when you make that there's a natural domino effect."

Question: So it was more the other guys?

"Exactly. When we put him there it's the domino effect from there. Monday, we've probably just gotta say, "This is the five" and start to build. We've been in a lot of different lineups out there. We're trying to find the right matches there. We're probably gonna have to start kinda settling in. When you guys see us again next week we're probably gonna be close to finding those five. We'll have an in-depth conversation and that'll probably be our No. 1 conversation as an offensive staff this week."

Question: As a follow up to that, how does Steve Elmer look at right tackle?

"Again, he has all the tools but he's playing like he's a guard at tackle right now. That's why it's important that we kinda settle in on where he is. What I mean by playing like a guard, you've gotta set a lot differently at the tackle position than as a guard. He's setting like a guard at tackle because he's played so much guard. Are we gonna move him in or keep him out? As you can imagine, we've got a lot of decisions to make and we've really gotta settle that unit in and say, 'These are the guys we're gonna be working with at these positions' and really get them comfortable with those positions."

Question: Who would be your next alternative at tackle?

"(Mike) McGlinchey is the next man in."

Question: Both sides?

"Yes, absolutely."

Question: You mentioned Redfield, how has he been in terms of calling out coverages and almost quarterbacking the defense from that position?

"No, there's no quarterbacking for Max. Austin Collinsworth will do the quarterbacking back there. And then if Austin went down Matthias Farley would go back there to be the quarterback. We're not gonna put much on Max's plate. We're gonna ask him to do his job, do it fast and really not put a lot on his plate."

Question: With Chris Brown, when did you kinda notice that he was stepping up and taking on more responsibility?

"I think it's what I said in terms of Daniels wasn't here. He really took that group over and then, talking to coach Longo, we talk about who's leading those groups. He said he clearly was the leader offensively with the wide receivers and even with the offense as a whole."

Question: You followed the O'Bannon stuff pretty closely over the summer. Did you get a chance to see the ruling?

"I didn't read all 99 pages. I'm a little short for time."

Question: What were your feelings on how that came down and what it means for the future?

"Like I said, I'm on the record. I've seen this as the glass is half full in the sense that although these rulings have gone against the NCAA and maybe I should be careful with my words. I really think these can work out as positive things for college football in particular because I think these rulings affect specifically football and basketball.

"I think if we look at these closely, there's a cap on the O'Bannon, cost of attendance. I think if we do a really good job and really stream these through special assistance funds, we can make the college experience for our student-athletes one where they're not getting paid but one where they can get chances to go home and see their families on breaks and really take care of the incidentals these kids don't get because they can't afford a job."

Question: Why did you move Farley back to safety?

"Well, we haven't. He's cross training. He's really playing the nickel, corner, safety. He's kinda our guy that's playing a little bit of everywhere for us. But if we get into an injury situation and we feel like we need some help back there from a savvy, experienced player, we're not gonna leave Max out there by himself."

Question: I wanted to follow up, a couple teams were talking in the summer about paying for insurance for players that might go to the league but stick around. Is that something you guys have discussed?

"I think that's something we would certainly discuss and find out whether that's in the best interest of everybody involved. I think we would take that as a case by case. But certainly something we would entertain and discuss."


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories